Nigeria presently has two chief justices of the federation. One is recognised by the constitution and the other is recognised by the president.
Civil societies, election observers, pressure groups, opposition parties and the international community have all come out to support the Constitution of Nigeria at this trying time.
A big stakeholder in this issue is the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), led by Paul Usoro (SAN).
In the statement, Usoro stated: “It is unfortunate that the executive branch of government purports to suspend the Chief Justice of Nigeria on the basis of an alleged ex-parte order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal – the same tribunal that, to the knowledge of the executive, had, only on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, adjourned its proceedings to Monday, January 28, 2019, and has before it a motion on notice that is yet to be argued, seeking the same reliefs as were contained in the purported ex-parte application, to wit, the state capital suspension of the CJN, amongst others.
The implication is that the president has gone on to suspend the constitution in order to achieve his aims and objectives. Clearly, the NBA is of the understanding that the constitution allows for the removal of the CJN through a recommendation of the NJC and a 2/3 of the Senate assenting to it, with the president ratifying it.
Following the purported suspension of the CJN, the implications are that the president has suspended the constitution in order to effect a change. As such, the president is on this note, no longer constitutionally recognised. One cannot suspend the constitution of the land at a time that it suits him or her.
Shehu is a political analyst interested in the activities of the government; he believes there is no smoke without fire and also a firm believer in the constitution.